Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917), which is essentially an old urinal that he rescued from a bar that is decorated by “ R. Mutt 1917” written in drippy black paint, is one of the most famous ready-made pieces. Ready made pieces were popular in the Dada movement because they posed questions towards the relevance of art and the role of an artist. The effort put into making Fountain, for an example, versus creating a beautiful painting is quite minimal.
For many pieces like Fountain, may be offensive. They minimize the effort that many artists apply to their work. Tristan Tzara’s Dada Manifesto 1918, is the epitome of this rhetoric that many find offensive. It essentially states that art is offensive to reality.
Personally, I am a fan (or at least intrigued by) of Dada. I think dada approaches art through a sociological lens. Dada questions the social construct of art. Dada deliberately went against the values of the bourgeois, the affluent people of society who set aesthetic values. The people of the data movement posed questions like “What makes a painting more appealing than urinal ?” “Who decides this?” They were determined to remove the stigma of art and what makes art successful. I like their approach because I think it is beneficial to question beliefs, rather than to accept a belief because it is easier.